Signature campaigns: the lever of your philanthropic growth
A lot of effort is required initially, but a signature campaign is a real long-term investment and its benefits are not only financial. This type of campaign allows donors to be part of a movement, while developing an organization’s awareness and reach, as well as its impact, network and corporate partnerships.
With a creative original idea, a compelling story and targeted marketing and communication tactics, you can develop your social brand and mobilize a maximum number of people around your purpose.
5 steps are necessary for your signature campaign to be successful. It will be developed around your needs and you will have to plan what your goals to achieve will be as well as the strategies to be deployed.
Step 1: Internal and external analysis
One of the first steps to a successful signature campaign is to evaluate your existing resources and actions to determine how your signature campaign will be integrated into your organization.
We will have to analyze more concretely:
- Your existing projects
- Your competition and their mobilizing projects
- Your digital situation
- Your socio-economic context
- Your database
- Your philanthropic personas to reach
By having a clear and precise diagnosis of your internal and external situation, we will be able to establish your campaign needs.
Do you need to hire new resources? Do you have to develop new content? A spokesperson to solicit? What strategies will you need to execute, etc.? This will allow you to properly invest your efforts where it counts.
Step 2: Opportunity study and SMART fundraising goals
A signature campaign is obviously based on goals to be achieved. Whether they are human, financial or notoriety, your fundraising goals will be achieved by following the SMART methodology, i.e. a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goal (i.e. there is a deadline).
If we restate all of the previous points, an example of a goal would be:
“For the first year, I want to have 1,000 participants in my signature campaign and raise $45,000 in one month to help 5,000 people.”
At this point, we will prepare your opportunity study, also called “business case”. This is an important step not to be neglected, as it will effectively determine your financial benefits, costs, deadlines and risks related to your project. In other words, it calculates the profitability of your campaign and evaluates the impact of its investment.
Step 3: Strategies to implement
Once steps 1 and 2 have been completed, it is important to plan strategies to achieve them. At this step, it is essentially a matter of identifying the main elements that will define your action plan.
- What will your campaign concept be? Will it make you stand out?
- How will you communicate and raise public awareness to your cause?
- How will you raise donations?
- Who will your ambassadors or spokesperson be?
- Do you need to plan advertising strategies on various social media and search engines?
By associating strategies to each of your goals, you will have a clearer vision of your action plan and will be able to determine the first steps to prioritize for the launch of your signature campaign.
Step 4: Visual identity and editorial line
An attractive visual identity, a catchy campaign slogan, a distinctive message and original promotional items will certainly help mobilize a maximum number of people around your cause!
At this step, your communication axis is drafted, i.e. the message around which your entire campaign will be built. It guides the tone to use in your social media posts, the important keywords to choose, the editorial line to use in your newsletter strategy as well as the axis to choose in order to convince your different audiences to contribute to your cause.
Finally, the time has come to develop your visual identity. Indeed, a strong image and quality promotional items associated with your campaign will facilitate its recognition by the public and can be used for subsequent years.
Step 5: Action plan
Your action plan contains the means and actions planned to achieve the defined goals. It can contain short, medium and long term actions and includes the strategy to be deployed, the person in charge, the budget allocated and the timetable to achieve it.
The Shaved Head Challenge:
an example of a successful signature campaign
The Shaved Head Challenge is an excellent example of a successful signature campaign. Initiated in 2001 by Mr. Serge Tremblay, a Leucan volunteer, and gathering barely 65 participants at the beginning, the Shaved Head Challenge is without a doubt the largest event in the province.
Since the first edition, $63 million have been raised by nearly 100,000 participants. This campaign concept is now recognized worldwide.
Any successful signature campaign requires time and investment. You should expect to spend between $20,000 and $30,000 to organize, launch and promote a signature campaign.
Of course, signature campaigns are a real long-term investment and their benefits are not just financial. They allow donors to be part of a social movement, to commit to a cause in a concrete way and they raise awareness, both in the community and among corporate partners, of the issues at stake in your mission.
Know this: sometimes the simplest ideas can have the greatest impact!
Do you have a project in mind? Tell us about your idea now! It will be our pleasure to listen to you and suggest strategies to make your project a reality!
The world is constantly changing
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